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Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand Barleywine AleBourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,347 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,347
Reviews: 352
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 8.17%
Wants: 381
Gots: 1,149 | FT: 205
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  12.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Aged in the third-use barrels that were once home to Kentucky bourbon and then our renowned Bourbon County Stout, this traditional English-style barleywine possesses the subtlety of flavor that only comes from a barrel that’s gone through many seasons of ritual care. The intricacies of the previous barrel denizens – oak, charcoal, hints of tobacco and vanilla, and that signature bourbon heat – are all present in this beer. Hearty and complex, Bourbon County Brand Barleywine is a titan and a timeline; a bold, flavorful journey through the craft of barrel aging.

(Beer added by: jplopez21 on 10-04-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,347 | Reviews: 352 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mjpolzin
4.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I was very excited to try this beer since Bourbon County Stout and Bourbon County Coffee are my top two favorite beers. This one unfortunately fell short of my expectations.

This was thicker and darker in the glass than any barleywine I have ever seen. It was had a very heavy bourbon nose to it, very similar to the stouts in this series. So it was definitely off to a promising start.

The taste was very sweet and was a mix of dark fruits and candy. Surprisingly the bourbon taste was very muted and almost non-existent. This was where I started to be disappointed in this beer as I expected a more bourbon-forward flavor. I will say that the sweetness follows suite with what I expect from an English Barleywine since so many barleywines seem to blur the lines between what the American and English versions are supposed to be.

After the aforementioned BCBS and BCBCS, Bourbon Barrel Barleywine by Central Waters is my next highest rated beer. This beer fell short when compared to what I think is the gold standard in barrel aged barleywines.

This beer was really good if not great. I will certainly buy it again if Goose Island makes it again. It just fell short of the high expectations they have set from their other Bourbon County offerings.

mjpolzin, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of jeff1973
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

jeff1973, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of EB1
3.75/5  rDev -17.2%

EB1, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of kevdemers
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

kevdemers, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of bigaddy
5/5  rDev +10.4%

bigaddy, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of Brown120
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Brown120, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of london1o1
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

london1o1, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of rodlavers
4.54/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter. Dark cola brown in color, subtle hints of red, fizzing tan head recedes almost as quickly as it's poured, a bit translucent. Nice beer legs, stains the glass.

Molasses, vanilla, sweet spice, bourbon, red licorice, dark fruits, burnt brown sugar and caramel.

Flavors are similar as well; it's sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. Definitely hot on the booze, more prominent here than in the smell.

Mouthfeel is smooth and slightly carbonated.

Overall this is a unique and special rendition of a barleywine, and one that I believe would benefit from some aging. Luckily I have a second bottle to sit on for awhile.

rodlavers, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of BobZ
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

BobZ, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of MontereyBay831
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

MontereyBay831, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of Rado
3.75/5  rDev -17.2%

Rado, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of DerrickW
5/5  rDev +10.4%

DerrickW, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of Benesi88
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Benesi88, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of mklisz
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

mklisz, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of MrRockstar
5/5  rDev +10.4%

MrRockstar, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of 57md
4.38/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Cracked open this baby at the moment of the Winter Solstice -- December 21st at 12:11 EST (the sun hit the Tropic of Capricorn at this time).

Pours a chocolate brown color with half a finger of head that dissipated very quickly. The nose is distinctly bourbon-like. The flavor profile is hearty and malty with bourbon notes present throughout. A hint of maple syrup is present. The bourbon remains a complimentary flavor that never becomes overwhelming. The finish is sweet with a touch of alcohol burn (but nothing unpleasant). The mouthfeel is sticky.

This might be a perfect example of the barleywine style.

57md, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of taospowder
5/5  rDev +10.4%

taospowder, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of HawkIPA
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

HawkIPA, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of vogeljason
4/5  rDev -11.7%

vogeljason, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of danolson312
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

danolson312, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of dfhhead25
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

dfhhead25, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of DavidHume
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

DavidHume, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of offthelevel_bytheplumb
4.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Pours a dark, murky brown with a thin sheet of brown head that dissipates immediately. Had aromas of various dark fruits, mainly dates and somewhat plumbs, caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, light wood and even lighter alcohol. Taste is very sweet and the mouthfeel is thick, this drinks like melted butterscotch candies. While this may be very thick, it has a low amount of carbonation and it goes down very smooth. The lingering aftertaste of butterscotch and vanilla feel like they are coating my mouth, and they linger for eternity.

Overall: I love it! I think Goose Island has done quite a good job with their bourbon barrel aging. I like the vanilla and caramel flavors that come out of the barrel, but I don't like straight bourbon flavors. This brew is a great example of that.

offthelevel_bytheplumb, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of PF15
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

PF15, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of Tirefan
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Tirefan, Dec 23, 2013
Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 3,347 ratings.